Water – A vital resource under threat

©SDC

Global pressure on water resources is mounting: although demand is rising exponentially, there is limited availability. One of the challenges of the 21st century is to preserve this vital resource and ensure an equitable distribution of water that promotes development. As Europe’s water tower, Switzerland has proven expertise in water conservation, providing it considerable credibility in international cooperation.

Population growth, urbanisation, climate change, environmental pollution, changes in land use and economic development all have a direct impact on water resources. By 2025, two-thirds of the world’s population will be living in regions with scarce water supplies. Distributing water in such a way as to ensure social equality, economic efficiency and environmental sustainability is a key development issue. The SDC has been addressing water issues for more than 30 years, including social aspects, the environment, the economy, governance, the promotion of innovation and technology, knowledge transfer and political dialogue as well as water and peace (Blue Peace).

Sustainable management

The SDC promotes the efficient use of water in economic activities and peaceful cooperation between countries over transboundary catchment areas

International priority

The SDC is working to achieve rapid implementation of the ‘water goal’ in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and greater international focus on sustainable water use

Universal access

Through concrete projects and political dialogue, the SDC works to ensure implementation of the human right to water and sanitation

Blue Peace: Water as an asset for peace

Switzerland’s lines of action on water and security, known as the Swiss toolbox for Blue Peace, are a response to the challenge of increasing global demand for water

Water in Crisis

The protection of water is one of the greatest challenges facing the world today. Demand is rising but availability is stagnating. Switzerland is committed to ensuring access to drinking water, safe sanitation systems and equitable distribution.

SDC dedicated website on water

Information (news, documents, instruments, methods) relating to knowledge-sharing and cooperation with partners and experts.

www.sdc-water.ch

Current projects

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Programme d’Hydraulique Rurale – Appui Au Secteur Eau et Assainissement (PHRASEA) Phase 2

01.01.2017 - 31.12.2021

Moins de 50% des nigériens ont accès à l’eau potable et seuls 7% disposent de conditions d'assainissement de base. La croissance démographique galopante, la dispersion de la population sur le territoire et la précarité des finances publiques sont des contraintes empêchant l'accès des populations à ces services de base. Le PHRASEA vient en appui aux efforts du gouvernement, en misant sur la maitrise d’ouvrage des communes.


Central Asia : Water Accountability in Transboundary Chu and Talas River Basins

15.12.2016 - 31.12.2020

Effective water resources management requires data management capacities for proper decision-making at different scales. In this context, a modern, Multi-Level Distributed Water Information Systems is a management instrument that provides stakeholders’ gateways for judicious and sustainable water resources management. The project is aiming at introducing such a modern management information system in transboundary Chu and Talas river basins to improve water accountability and transparency.


UN-Water: Strengthening the Global Water Architecture for the effective achievement of the 2030 Agenda

01.12.2016 - 31.12.2020

The role of UN-Water is to coordinate the UN system’s action on all water related issues, including sanitation. Therefore, UN-Water is key to bring a more effective, integrated and coordinated approach to support the implementation of the 2030 Agenda with regards to water and sanitation. SDC’s support as core contribution is crucial to ensure that the political ambition of the 2030 Agenda for water has an efficient institutional setting.


Scaling-up SuizAgua Peru and Chile

01.10.2016 - 31.12.2020

Corporate Water Footprint (WF) frameworks in Chile and Peru animate private companies to use and manage water in a sustainable manner. Civil society is made aware of sustainable water cultures by behavioural change campaigns and by being part of watershed collective actions with the private sector. Cooperation among SuizAgua Colombia, Peru and Chile and with other partners ensures further outreach of the project in Latin America with the help of an active community of practice sharing gained knowledge.


UN-Water: Strengthening the Global Water Architecture for the effective achievement of the 2030 Agenda

01.08.2016 - 31.12.2030

UN-Water has now firmly established itself as a major actor in water and in coordinating UN agencies to speak as one voice for water. SDC’s support to UN-Water’s core budget is crucial to ensure that the political ambition of the 2030 Agenda for water and its related targets has an efficient institutional setting allowing an integrated monitoring and an efficient follow-up and review and strong coordination between UN agencies. UN-Water will be key to bring a more effective, integrated and coordinated approach to support the implementation of the 2030 Agenda with regards to water and sanitation and to review progress.


Water Security in the Middle East (Blue Peace)

01.04.2016 - 31.05.2020

In the Middle East, the increasingly precarious situation of water resources demands stronger regional cooperation than ever before. Set against this background, the Blue Peace approach aims at contributing to peace building through combined political and technical dialogues, which are substantiated in concrete regional projects and direct impact activities on the ground. Together with the Strategic Foresight Group (SFG) and local partners from academia, international organisations, civil society and private sector, SDC is able to promote policy and concrete solutions for sustainable development serving those threatened by water scarcity and conflict.


Inclusive territorial economic development in the Muskitia region, department of Gracias a Dios

01.03.2016 - 30.05.2021

The economic development programme is carried out in the Honduran Muskitia, a fragile indigenous territory with great productive potential. The program empowers the territorial stakeholders in the cocoa and fishing value chains and the basic grains production chain located in the mid and lower watershed of the Patuca river. It promotes public-private alliances that respect indigenous rights in accordance to the convention 169 of the international labor organization. These public-private alliances generate 3000 new jobs and increase the income of 1500 indigenous families by 10-30%.


Swiss Bluetec Bridge: Swiss start-ups benefit disadvantaged populations

11.02.2016 - 30.06.2020

In addition to the sustainable management of resources and good governance, water-related challenges open up a wide field for technological innovation, particularly in the application of nanotechnologies for water treatment, especially ones which are energy-efficient. The challenge for Swiss Bluetec Bridge is to put these cutting-edge 'Swiss' technologies at the service of the poor and ensure that they are sustainably managed. To do this the project must seek to bridge the gap between public support for start-ups and private investment.


SuizAgua América Latina - El Agua nos Une

Fabricato - industrial water treatment and reuse plant

01.01.2016 - 31.12.2020

Water management being one of the main challenges of the 21st century, the generation of knowledge to make decisions and collaboration between different sectors; are the axis of the present and future well-being of humanity. The initiative “El Agua Nos Une” articulates the work of public institutions, business associations and research organisations. It aims at: i) scaling corporate water stewardship in Colombia; ii) strengthening knowledge on water uses, particularly in the agricultural sector; iii) contributing to the national water quality and quantity monitoring program; iv) developing an investment scheme in ecosystem services; and; v) facilitating a community of practice on water footprint and corporate water management in Latin America


Territorial water governance in the Gulf of Fonseca region

01.01.2016 - 17.04.2021

The programme facilitates the establishment of a system of territorial water governance, sustainable and integral water resource management, and the construction of 6 strategic water works as a result of private-public agreement in the Choluteca, Sampile and Nacaome watersheds in the region of the Gulf of Fonseca. The program empowers public-private water users and political stakeholders who lead national water policy and it indirectly benefits 66,000 families.


Local Governance Program Nicaragua-APIM

01.01.2016 - 30.09.2020

The final phase aims to capitalize and to transfer best practices of public investment cycle into national norms. The program will smoothly phase out the earmarked budget support to 15 municipalities in order to i) strengthen capacities to manage municipal investments plans for rural feeder roads and basic services; and ii) ensure sustainability, inclusive governance and transparency. Best practices and experiences will be documented and disseminated.


Indian Himalayas Climate Adaptation Programme

01.01.2016 - 30.09.2020

The sensitivity of the Indian Himalayan Region (IHR) to changes in global climate has been recognised and given priority by the Government of India. However, knowledge and scientific information on climate change impacts on the IHR is still limited and capacities to adapt are weak. The Indian Himalayas Climate Adaptation Programme (IHCAP) aims at bridging the knowledge gap on climate change impacts and response measures by supporting collaborative research, capacity building and knowledge exchange and dissemination.

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